Today’s Inside Higher Ed reports on a Sloan Foundation report, “Online Nation: Five Years of Growth in Online Learning,” that found that although more U.S. students are learning online, the growth trend is tapering off. Nearly 20% of post-secondary students have taken at least one course online.
Four-year growth in students taking at least one online course:
|Enrollment, Fall 2002||Enrollment, Fall 2006||Compound Annual Growth Rate|
Not surprisingly, the largest area of growth was among for-profit institutions, who are more pressured to innovate in education. The question is, is online learning really all that innovative? I think not.
Too often, we use new technologies without adopting new pedagogical models and new, contextually-relevant content. The result is that the new technologies are used to teach the same old garbage. And fail. Perhaps this explains why the penetration of online learning is beginning to taper off at 20%.
New models for learning are needed that properly utilize these technologies. Next week, I’ll present one such option, the “co-seminar” model, that begins to address the problem. Stay tuned!